The war of words between microblogging site Twitter and the Centre seems to be far from over. All social media platforms except Twitter have shared details required under the new IT Act, government sources have said, reported NDTV.
In response to a Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) request to provide information about compliance with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, most major social media intermediaries, including Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, ShareChat, LinkedIn and Telegram, have shared details of their chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and grievance officer, with the exception of Twitter.
Earlier this week, the Centre had written to all social media firms to submit a compliance status with the new IT rules. The rules lay down that a significant social media intermediary (SSMI) are required to appoint chief compliance officers, resident grievance officers and other employees specifically to deal with the requirements under the law. SSMIs are social media firms with over 50 lakh users.
Following a firm government response, Twitter shared details of a lawyer from an Indian law firm as its nodal contact person and grievance officer. However, the guidelines state that such designated officers must be employees of the company and a resident in India.
On Thursday, May 27, Twitter said it would comply with the rules but voiced concerns over the use of intimidation tactics by the police. In response, the government asked the company to stop beating around the bush and comply with the law.
On the other hand, WhatsApp has sued the Indian government over these policies. It objected to the clause that requires social media firms to share details on the first originator of information, reported Inc42.
Earlier this week, the Delhi Police raided Twitter India's offices in Gurugram and Noida in connection with the 'Congress toolkit case'. The platform had tagged a tweet by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, in which he claimed that the Congress party had come up with a toolkit to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as manipulated media. The Centre termed it "arbitrary" and asked for the tag to be removed.